ISLAMABAD: Justice (retd) Fakhruddin G Ebrahim, who took oath on Monday as the new Chief Election Commissioner (CEC), said his one-point agenda was public justice through free, fair, transparent and impartial elections, adding that it was the prime minister’s prerogative to announce the elections. He also assured that the Election Commission of Pakistan would implement all the Supreme Court orders.
In his first interaction with officers and staff at the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) Secretariat here after taking the oath, the chief election commissioner said: “It has been my dream to present a prosperous and democratic Pakistan to our new generation and the Election Commission can make our dream come true.”
From the Supreme Court, where he was administered oath, he went straight to his chamber at the Election Commission Secretariat and then came down to address the senior ECP officers and staff at the conference hall. He advised the audience to work with dedication, honesty and without yielding to pressure and thus contribute to conducting the electoral process as he desired. The new CEC said that the ECP had a one-point agenda of public justice through free, fair, transparent and impartial elections so that no one should ever be able to raise a finger on its impartiality and all employees of the ECP should work to achieve that goal.
“I can translate my one-point agenda of holding, free, fair and transparent elections into a reality only through your cooperation. We want to make a new beginning for Pakistan through an impartial electoral process, apparently within the next year or so,” one of the officials quoted him as saying. “Democracy is a philosophy leading to a democratic system and this can only be achieved through the process of election and to hold free and fair elections, we will follow the Constitution and law,” an official quoted him while talking to The News.
Referring to the history of general elections in Pakistan, the new CEC said that there were very few instances of free and fair elections, including those held in 1970 and 1988, while the general election in 2008 was also transparent to a certain extent. The chief election commissioner was confident of conducting the upcoming general elections as he had envisioned for years.
Agencies add: Earlier, Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry administered oath of the office to Justice (retd) Fakhruddin G Ebrahim as the chief election commissioner. Judges of the Supreme Court, ECP secretary, officers of the Law and Justice Commission, prominent lawyers and law officers attended the ceremony held at the Supreme Court building.
Supreme Court Registrar Dr Faqir Hussain conducted the proceedings of the oath-taking ceremony. Officers and staff of the Supreme Court were also present on the occasion.Talking to the media on the Supreme Court premises after taking oath, Justice Fakhruddin said: “Don’t consider my age. Look at my work.”
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf congratulated Justice (retd) Fakhruddin G Ebrahim. In a message, he said the appointment of Fakhruddin G Ebrahim as the CEC would ensure free, fair and transparent elections, a long cherished goal of all political parties, democratic forces, civil society and the media.